EMotion Research Project

Introduction: EMotion Research Project

We are everywhere and nowhere. We are, at once, real and virtual, material and synthetic. We have become hybrids once again. Whether derived from the human body addressing the mind, or the animal or hybrid object depicted in a state of emotional consciousness, we cannot deny the importance of “emotional presence.”

Step 1: Scanning Distinct Emotional Faces

I visualize emotions and facial expressions, both human and animal, employing Paul Ekman’s understanding of universal emotions, as expressions of the human face that can be understood across cultures. Using Ekman’s list of seven emotions allowed me to select distinct facial expressions in the human face that are identified with being happy, sad, disgusted, afraid, angry, surprised, or contemptuous.

Step 2: Scanning Animal Faces

I added animal scans to speak to an evolution of emotions.

Step 3: Maya First Steps

Maya was used to introduce sliders that allowed us to move parts of the face. I could open and close the snout or let the fox have a smirky face.

Step 4: Screenshots

Through a previous collaboration with University College London I had access to a large 3D database of the human face, to which I suggested adding new digital scans, namely scans of a smiling, frowning, surprised, or disgusted face of a man. Furthermore, I was interested in discussing the evolutionary aspect of emotions, not unlike Darwin’s interrogation of expression of emotion in animal and man. I therefore included a fox’s neural expression in the same database. This not only allowed me to morph from a happy to a sad person, but I could now also animate the human face to become more fox-like and thereby morph from a happy to a sad fox.

Step 5: Stills From the Animation

Step 6: Data to Material

My first prints included a series of z-cor prints. I remember the magic when we removed the powder and revealed the object.

Step 7: InterFace Sculptures 2009

Rapidform at the Royal College set me up with the Haptic Phantom sculpting pen and allowed me to use their 3D printers. Thank you once again!

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